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JOHANNESBURG, Exposure to high-level coaching and stringent qualifying criteria will help South Africa to be a world beater in athletics.

This sentiment was shared by the President of Athletics South Africa, Aleck Skosana, when Team South Africa returned home here Monday from the IAAF Under-18 World Championships when ended in Nairobi, Kenya, Sunday.

South Africa made history when they finished top of the medals tally with a total of eleven medals, out of 214 participating countries. South Africa won five gold, three silver, and three bronze medals.

Skosana said the future of athletics in the country looked bright. "Athletics is all about the support that you get from your coaches. You will never be a world champion without the support of your coach, without the support of other people working behind the scenes," he added.

"The system is working and there is progression from one age group to another age group and these are the future athletes at the 2020, 2024 Olympic Games, 2028 Olympic Games and five world championships in between."

The star of the show for South Africa was 17-year-old sprinter Retshidisitswe Mlenga who won three medals.

Mlenga won gold in the boys' 100 metres, took silver in the 200 m, and was part of the 4X400 m relay team which took bronze.


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